Am I Sea

Rydel Cerezo


“Am I a Sea” is an autobiographical series exploring my relationship with Roman Catholicism as a queer Filipino man. I use my younger brother as a mirror to reflect the preceriarity of my position in this inescapable relationship fraught with trauma and love provided by the institution and the home. He becomes a stand in to present past personal and collective experiences of immigrant children within the Roman Catholic institution. “Am I a Sea” attempts to call upon the 333 years of western Spanish colonization over the Philippines and image the consequences of intergenerational trauma within the Filipino body. The inability to escape is realized as a consequence of centuries of colonization and familial inheritance. I am interested in the history of the church that served as a tool involved in the colonial mission and now acts as a space for bodies to commune with one another in the diaspora. Playing between the spaces of what is staged and what is documentary, “Am I a Sea” disrupts the gesture within a ritual. This work is an attempt to renavigate and probe the familiar space that is the church in relation to the living post-colonized body.

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